The best and most recent books about yoga and Ayurveda

The Books I Picked & Why

The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook: Holistic Healing Rituals for Every Day and Season

By Sarah Kucera

The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook: Holistic Healing Rituals for Every Day and Season

Why this book?

I had to have this little square book when I saw that it comes with a satin ribbon bookmark, and I was not disappointed. I only wish I'd had this simple, practical guide to the healing tradition of Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, when I was new to it. Dr. Kucera (she's a chiropractor and a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner) cuts through 5000 years of history and tradition to give us the information we can use, enjoy, and benefit from right now. (I've become a total fan and have had Dr. K. on my Main Street Vegan Podcast three times.)


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Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary, Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook

By Sahara Rose Ketabi

Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary, Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook

Why this book?

To me, a cookbook is supposed to be a book, too -- one that you can read as well as cook with. This is one of those. For me as a vegan, I like that there's no dairy here (in a lot of Ayurvedic cookbooks, I have to work around milk and clarified butter), but well beyond that, I appreciate this young author and her fresh outlook. The recipes are accessible and her Ayurvedic suggestions are real-world applicable and easy to incorporate into a busy life.


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The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West

By Michelle Goldberg

The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West

Why this book?

Confession: I binge-read this one. It's a positively sparkling biography of the woman who wrote two of the first three yoga books I ever read, back when I was a teenager in Kansas City. (Her books were Yoga for Americans and Forever Young, Forever Healthy. The other yoga book in the public library way back then was Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation, by Jess Stern.) Anyway, the divine Ms. Devi had a life like Forrest Gump's: If anything historic was happening on earth, it happened precisely where she was. She was a liberated woman long before anyone burned their bra, and she managed to juxtapose a serious spiritual life with ten dazzling decades living fully on earth.


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Yoga and Veganism: The Diet of Enlightenment

By Sharon Gannon

Yoga and Veganism: The Diet of Enlightenment

Why this book?

The first moral precept of yoga is ahimsa, harmlessness, nonviolence, reverence for life. This is one of the reasons why the traditional yogic diet has always been vegetarian. Gannon, the co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga, contends that for our practice of ahimsa -- and yoga's other ethical convictions -- to be complete, we need to move toward a pure vegetarian, i.e., vegan, lifestyle. She supports her contention with the yamas and niyamas, yoga's ethical code put forth in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. And she brings the blissful combination of yoga and veganism together with stories of other vegan yogis. (Full disclosure: I'm one of these. And in the audio version, each contributor reads their own story.)


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Yoga for the Wounded Heart: A Journey, Philosophy, and Practice of Healing Emotional Pain

By Tatiana Forero Puerta

Yoga for the Wounded Heart: A Journey, Philosophy, and Practice of Healing Emotional Pain

Why this book?

Yoga, like any discipline designed to integrate us humans with ourselves, works for those who work it. Some, however, have a more challenging path, and this includes survivors of trauma. In this beautifully written work -- part memoir, part self-help -- the author details how finding yoga, and practicing it as if her life and sanity depended on it, brought her out of intense grief and PTSD. She shows us how it can work for us, too, if our life saga includes great sorrow, or if we'd simply like to deal better with the generic ups-and-down.


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